What Exactly Is Beggars Night? If You Live In Des Moines, You Know
For most kids and adults, Halloween means trick-or-treating. You know going out on Halloween night and going from door to door asking for candy. However for others, Halloween means partying all night long which can cause some issues sometimes. This is the reason that beggars night was created.
What is Beggars Night? Well, it is basically trick-or-treating before Halloween. Beggars Night is when children go trick-or-treating on any night before Halloween as a safety precaution. It was created to address security concerns over young children involved in unsupervised Trick-or-Treating on Halloween and usually occurs after school between 6 and 8 pm as those are seen as the safest times for kids.
Now, I know not everyone has heard of this night as it is only celebrated in a few states such as Ohio (my home state), New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Iowa! In Iowa, however it is most known in the Des Moines area.
In 1938, the Des Moines police got a record 550 calls of vandalism on Halloween which prompted them to adopt a safe way for both kids and the city to celebrate trick-or-treating in the area. On Beggars Night, kids are told to say "tricks or eats" and then the child has to do some sort of trick (tell a joke, dance, sing, etc.) for treats which is still celebrated to this day.